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Posts Tagged ‘spinach leaves’

I have always loved fruit – all kinds of it – except for persimmons.  In the Midwest, my aunts used to make persimmon pudding and, although I love what I call “nursery desserts” I never liked this homey pudding.  I don’t know why because it really doesn’t have a defined fruit taste, it mostly tastes of the spices used to flavor it.  However, I do love the way persimmons look and, come fall, I always buy some to decorate the table.  Then, I feel guilty about wasting them so, from time to time, I will add a few slices to salads before they get too soft.  Here is a spinach-persimmon salad that I dressed with a warm vinaigrette made with the fat garnered from crisping some diced pancetta, the pancetta, moscato vinegar, a little orange zest, a touch of Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper.  The Fuyu persimmon and the pancetta added just the right touch of crispness to the soft spinach.  But, you know what, I still don’t much like persimmon.

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I was asked to make a Sunday dinner when we were visiting friends in Mill Valley (California) last month.  The days had been pretty chilly and damp so the menu was highlighted with a rich, winey beef stew BUT the star of the meal was the fresh porcini salad that began the feast.  The porcini had been foraged from the Marin hills just the day before – they were huge, dense, meaty, earthy, and oh! so delicious.  I gave them a quick sauté in extra virgin olive oil, laid them on some baby spinach leaves, sliced some ricotta salata over the top and drizzled the salad with a Meyer lemon vinaigrette.  What could possibly be better – but it only works when you have a skilled forager knocking on your back door!  I can assure you that this doesn’t happen in New York City.

 

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